STRAIGHT MATE

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - Matt Poole.

HE’S AN ELITE SPORTS­MAN WHO CALLS THE BEACH HIS OF­FICE, DATES A MISS UNI­VERSE AND OC­CA­SION­ALLY DYES HIS HAIR PINK. MEET 23-YEAROLD MATT POOLE, IRONMAN. IN­TER­VIEW BY MATTHEW MY­ERS.

DNA: Just how tough is it to be an Ironman?

Matt Poole: It’s very tough and re­quires a lot of dis­ci­pline and train­ing. We’re on the beach five af­ter­noons a week and usu­ally have one big marathon on the Satur­day. It’s a big work­load and chal­leng­ing, but it’s also very re­ward­ing. We call the beach our of­fice! We also get the chance to travel and make new friends. I per­son­ally love be­ing a part of the pro­fes­sional Ironman se­ries on tele­vi­sion. That’s such an hon­our and priv­i­lege.

You’ve had a few wins, too.

Yes, in my Ironman ca­reer so far I have had three pro­fes­sional se­ries race wins, and twice fin­ished on the podium. I’ve also won two ju­nior Aus­tralian Ironman ti­tles.

You’re an am­bas­sador for the Na­tional Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion. How did that hap­pen?

Four years ago, one of the PR guys from the Ironman se­ries asked if I wanted to be in­volved in a char­ity. I thought it was su­per cool to be in­volved with breast can­cer re­search.

And you’ve even dyed your hair pink!

[Laugh­ing] Yeah, over 2010 and 2011 I dyed my hair pink, which I guess is very strange for an Ironman! It cer­tainly raised a few eye­brows. But it was for the Na­tional Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion and I’m su­per-sup­port­ive of that. I think it’s one of the bravest things I ever did!

This is our swimwear is­sue. What’s your favourite swimwear?

I like Speedos and the Euro­pean swim­ming trunk. I was brought up with them so it’s all pretty tra­di­tional for me. In Aus­tralia, younger guys love to be seen in board shorts, but I love rac­ing in Speedos or budgie smug­glers. Ev­ery­one’s got a mil­lion dif­fer­ent names for them.

Have you ever been in the surf naked?

[Laugh­ing] Not on pur­pose, but once when I was younger at Queen­scliff I was train­ing in big surf and I had my Speedos ripped down around my an­kles. But I was pretty lucky, as I held on to them by my toe­nails!

You ob­vi­ously eat healthy, but if you had to pick an in­dul­gence, what would it be?

Cho­co­late! I’ve al­ways had a su­per sweet tooth.

Your girl­friend, Lauren Bar­ley, re­cently com­peted in the Miss Uni­verse Aus­tralia pageant and you make a su­per hot cou­ple. Have you thought of mod­el­ling to­gether?

Not re­ally, but when we do stand to­gether for pho­tos my mates tell me how well I’m do­ing for my­self.

A lot of peo­ple find you hot, in­clud­ing gay

I was train­ing in big surf and I had my Speedos ripped down around my an­kles. But I was pretty lucky, as I held on to them by my toe­nails!

men. How do you feel about that?

It’s very flat­ter­ing. The funny thing about sport is that the rac­ing is one as­pect, but im­age and looks come into it as well. I’m very for­tu­nate to do pro­mo­tions and mod­el­ling for Kel­logg’s and other spon­sors like Red Bull. It’s some­thing that I’m com­fort­able with and part and par­cel of a pro­fes­sional sport­ing life­style. We have fit and healthy bod­ies and we try to pro­mote our­selves and our spon­sors when­ever we can.

Have you been on the Nutri-Grain cereal box?

Yeah, a cou­ple of times, which is pretty funny. I grew up idol­is­ing all those guys on the back of the cereal boxes, and wanted to be like them. Now that I’m older and on the box, I can’t help but won­der if young kids look up to me. I know how pas­sion­ate kids can be about the Ironman. For me it’s such a great op­por­tu­nity to be on the cereal box.

Has any­one ever come out to you?

I once had a mate who came out to me, and I was su­per-stoked that he was com­fort­able enough to talk to me about it. I think it’s some­thing that a lot of peo­ple would find dif­fi­cult to do, and it’s un­for­tu­nate that it’s not more ac­cept­ing in Aus­tralia. Some peo­ple tend to still frown upon it, which is a shame.

If you were gay, who would you go for?

I’d turn for James Franco. He comes across in in­ter­views as a pretty cool, fun kind of guy, and he’s good look­ing, too.

If you weren’t an Ironman, what do you think you’d be do­ing?

I love sport and be­ing fit and healthy, so I guess it would be in that life­style, like a per­sonal trainer or maybe a pro­fes­sional surfer.

What will you be do­ing over Christ­mas and New Year’s?

We do a lot of rac­ing through sum­mer, so I usu­ally lay pretty low and en­joy time with my fam­ily and girl­friend. This year I re­ally want to get back home to Syd­ney for New Year’s Eve. I want to see the city light up at mid­night!

Who has been the big­gest in­flu­ence on your ca­reer?

Michael King, who I’ve been train­ing un­der for five years. He’s the head coach at the Mooloolaba Surf Club. When I was young, I showed a lot of nat­u­ral abil­ity for this sport and I had to go through a lot of hard work. Michael took me through it from a young age and gave me all the op­por­tu­ni­ties. He made me what I am today.

Are you a jocks, box­ers or free­balling man?

I’ve al­ways had fit­ted box­ers and I lit­er­ally can’t wear any­thing else.

Have you ever worn your Speedos un­der­neath your jeans?

No, I’ve never done that. I’d rather free­ball than suf­fer get­ting a rash.

more: The Kel­logg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman and Iron­woman se­ries be­gins Jan­uary 18, 2014 on the Nine Net­work. For more on Matt Poole: mattpoole.com.au. Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @ mat­t_poole1.

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